We have about 3 weeks left of 2015. It's not shopping season yet, right? According to the National Retail Federation's eHoliday 2014 Post-Holiday Retailer and Consumer Survey Results, 41% of consumers waited until late December to finish their holiday shopping.  (Source: Jan 2015, NRF.com) If you're in the 41%, then sit back and relax with another issue of Build & Balance.

25 Ways to Thank Your Customers
25 Ways to Thank Your Customers

If you're like me, you're always thinking of new and novel ways to thank your customers (since they do keep the lights on!).

Handwritten notes and personalized gifts are nice. But what about honoring a special achievement in their life or giving them a surprise discount or upgrade? There are myriad ways to thank your customers. Here's a great resource with 25 of them

If you have your own unique way of thanking customers, I'd love to hear it. Hit Reply and tell me.
10 Creative Ways to Recognize Your Employees

10 Ways to Recognize Employees
Now besides customers, it's also the time of year when we think of giving our employees some special recognition. Of course, we should do it regularly, IMO. Here are 2 unique ways to do it:

Create a plaque for an employee. Few employees are recognized in this way to commemorate an anniversary, great work on a project, or the submission of a fantastic idea that saved the company money. You'll get a big grin with this one.

How about buying some of your employee's favorite treats and having them stashed away to surprise them once in a while? If I was an employee and my boss gave me a little gift of Honest Tea (Peach) and Kind Bars (Almond Coconut), I'd be thrilled. These are just 2 ways you can recognize your team members. Want 8 more?
90 Days to Better Speaking is Coming!

How to Be a Better Speaker in 90 Days
For years I've been coaching speakers 1on1 to improve their presentation skills through my other business (Speak Well and Sell). However, there has been a group of people who don't want 1on1 coaching. They'd prefer to have a group class, and especially one that meets more than once so they can really work on their skills and improve their abilities over time. Is that you?

If so, you're going to be happy to hear that a brand new class series is coming in late January. Registration is now open for the Become a Better Speaker in 90 Days program. This class will go from A to Z to help you improve in this critical success area. You'll get plenty of practice, too. You cannot help but get much better in 90 days when you fully participate in this program. Check out the information page and register now if you're serious because this is a very limited enrollment class. Each participant will get a ton of personal attention.  I hope you'll be one of the first to take advantage of this new and exclusive opportunity to learn from my 17 years of experience speaking and studying the art of speaking.
Are You Leveraging the Power of Risk Reversal?

Risk Reversal
Risk reversal is a business concept I first learned of from
Jay Abraham, who is considered by some to be America's foremost marketing genius. It entails removing almost all risk from the transaction for your prospective customer (see #11 in Jay's article). Doing this greatly enhances your chances of making a sale. Duh. But are you really reversing risk to the full extent of your ability?

Miele recently offered a full 5-year extended warranty (normally 1-year) on some products and their sales went through the roof. Hyundai famously did this in 1998 when they offered a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty. No one else was doing that at the time and it greatly increased their sales. Hmm, I wonder what VW could do now? Back to you: How can you put more of the power of risk reversal into your business? This just might be the key to exploding your sales in 2016.
Managing Millennials

While addressing the audience of business owners in Quito, Ecuador last month, I received this question, "Please give some advice on managing millennials." 
Interesting question that many managers in America are asking, too. To answer the question for you, I want to share from a HW assignment turned in by one of my millennial students in my beginning business class. It perfectly sums it up:

"I am a Gen Y child and I don't like being micro-managed. My grandmother worked 2 jobs while my mother was out of state. I would come home and do everything on my own. I became very self-sufficient at a young age. I want someone to guide me in a direction and teach me how things are done, but I don't like being told how I have to do it or being watched. Children growing up with parents working tend to have less supervision and that can cultivate a stronger sense of independence." 

There you have it. If you're encountering friction in managing millennials, might the answer be in how you're managing them? Contact me if you want help in this area.
Book Recommendation. Not.

Passion Planner
Normally I share a book to read here, but I'm going to switch it up this time. Instead I'm recommending a new Planner you might like to adopt in 2016 to support major goal achievement. It's called the Passion Planner and it is designed to not just record meetings, to-dos and appointments, but so much more. Record your goals, read great quotes, brainstorm, and/or take a weekly challenge. It's a terrific creation and I've ordered mine for 2016. If you'd like to get one,
here's the link to do so. Please do me one favor if you decide the Passion Planner is something you'd like to have. Please enter my email: michael@buildandbalance.com as your referring source. Because, every time 3 people order the planner, I'll get one free and I'll turn right around and gift them to people who can use them in conjunction with my coaching. May you live with passion in 2016.

One of my valuable readers corrected me on an inaccuracy in the last issue (thanks, Dad!). So, I'd like to issue an apology and correct it here. Quito is not 9,350 square feet above sea level. We don't measure altitude in square feet! Please don't tell my kids I made this mistake.
That's all, folks!
I hope this issue sparked something for you. If so, let me know. That fuels me. If not, let me know. That informs me. If you'd like coaching for you or your team in 2016, let me know. That supports me :) Wishing you joy and peace. Your next issue will arrive on 12/24. Yep, gotta stick to the schedule. Consistency is a hallmark trait of success.

Michael Neuendorff | The Growth Coach | 650.373.2022